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The Art of Volunteering
2008, Q3 (October 21, 2008)

OR Where's My Value?

By Jenna Moore, Carolina Chapter President

Jenna Moore photo
Jenna Moore
For years the debates have run around in circles--what is the value of an STC Membership? And for years, the answer has been, “A lot higher if you are a member of the STC Carolina chapter.” That’s because it has been a long-standing tradition for STC Carolina to go above and beyond to increase the value of chapter membership. Let’s start with a basic comparison.

STC Membership values
  • Reduced rate for the Annual Conference.
  • Access to Webinars on many topics relevant to technical communication.
  • Access to read and be published in STC publications, Intercom and Technical Communication.
  • Access to hundreds, even thousands, of technical communicators via special interest groups, mailing lists, and geographic communities. These professionals can help answer questions about your work or even help you find the best fit for a new job or employee.
  • Access to technical communication competitions.

On top of all those wonderful values, STC Carolina adds its own values:
  • Opportunities to help organize regional conferences and meet professionals from other regions.
  • Access to local workshops led by our own local experts on various topics relating to technical communication. Meet these experts in person and ask questions.
  • Networking opportunities with other technical communication professionals, including managers, editors, graphic artists, writers, employers, recruiters, and more.
  • Free access to the RTP Credit Union.
  • Opportunities to share your technical communication expertise with your professional peers and be recognized for your knowledge and capability.
  • One of the best regional technical communication competitions in the country. Writers and companies send their materials from far and wide to be judged in STC Carolina’s competition. We have more winners at the International level than almost any other STC community. You can submit your work to the competition or serve as a competition judge. Either way you will learn valuable information about what professionals really want in their products.
  • A 20% discount on O’Reilly books or complimentary copies if you want to write a review.
  • Access to STC Carolina’s Job Bank and the Résumé page.

I don’t know about you, but these items definitely make me think that STC Carolina is a valuable commodity and community. I hope most of you were aware of all of these values offered by our organization and community. If not, then we need to step up our PR and I hope this might persuade a few of you who haven't joined to do so.

If you are not ready to serve as a leader, you can still lend your time and effort to building our community.

However, like most things, any community is only as strong as the people who power it. For STC Carolina, that’s YOU. I want to offer a great deal of thanks to all of the wonderful professionals that have volunteered over the decades to keep STC Carolina running and made it into what it is today: A valuable resource for technical communication professionals. Many of those volunteers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help us achieve our goals and we owe them much.

Now it’s your turn to help us give back to those volunteers by maintaining the value of our community as we move forward. Our theme for this next year will be "Building the Community." As part of that mission, we need volunteers. Now before you start scurrying away from that dirty word, volunteer, read on a bit. Throughout the year, we are building in both large and small volunteer opportunities, and two hour opportunities as well.

It has taken strong leadership to get us here and many of those volunteers worked single-handedly in their tasks. Part of our mission for 2008-2009 is to achieve a simpler, easer way to work; we want to build committees to help those chapter leaders that are helping us out. This means instead of one Programs Manager arranging everything, we want to have a Programs Manager with a team to work with to delegate tasks. Instead of one Membership Manager carrying all the materials, we have a team of volunteers that can take turns at various tasks.

This means that if you are not ready to serve as a leader, you can still lend your time and effort to building our community. Perhaps you would like to arrange a speaker for one of our programs. Or you can try something simpler and man the Membership table at one of our events. All of these opportunities are available and more. Whether you have a lot of time or a little to donate to the community, your contribution can help us out.

So please, I ask that anyone who is interested in helping to keep our community strong, please contact our Vice President, Bea Bailey, or me for more information about the opportunities available. We look forward to adding you to our team of volunteers and recognized industry experts.

Jenna Moore can be reached at president at stc-carolina dot com. End of article.

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